Chaotic urban traffic management in Kashmir

Chaotic urban traffic management in Kashmir

As the road widening projects have not been executed well in time in Kashmir valley , the traffic congestion on roads due to ever increasing traffic have multiplied over the period of years . Consequently the concerns of people on traffic chaos in Srinagar city and major towns of Kashmir valley have compounded as majority of matadors that operate daily on all the routes of Srinagar city and major towns of Kashmir valley do not follow rules and regulations. The congestion on roads caused by these vehicles continues to haunt commuters as drivers stop their vehicles wherever they deem necessary to pick a passenger and do not mind stopping the vehicle in the middle of the road. The traffic police appears to be a mute spectator as the minibus operators are running their transport business in violation of rules and regulations with the blessings of the top helmsmen of the transport and traffic police departments. Traffic police does not ask question despite spotting passenger vehicles ferrying passengers on rooftops , driven rashly and stopped everywhere except the bus stops. The rashly driven vehicles have caused accidents several times in recent years but culprits are not subjected to even simple question for driving the passenger vehicles rashly and ferrying passengers on the roof tops . Hundreds of complaints of over-charging, fleecing of tourists, and loud music blaring from these matadors have been reported from almost all parts of Srinagar city and major towns of Kashmir valley but the traffic officials prefer to shut their eyes instead of initiating any action against the offending drivers . An important issue which has cropped up is the use of mobile phones by the drivers which can put the lives of the dozens of the passengers in danger.

The traffic need assessment and strict adherence of the traffic rules are the two major challenges for the traffic regulation authorities. The challenges are not unachievable but deserve immediate attention of the traffic regulation authorities.

Consequently matadors and mini-buses run on the local routes in Srinagar city and major towns of Kashmir valley have become a menace hindering the normal movement of vehicular traffic on local routes . What multiplies the woes of commuters is the over-speeding of the passenger vehicles on local routes both in Srinagar and major towns of Kashmir valley. While the fact remains that civil society in Kashmir valley wants that firstly the local matador operators should be controlled and asked to operate in an organized manner and secondly a more reliable and comfortable transport system like the metro should be introduced in Srinagar and major towns of Kashmir valley as is being done in major cities in rest of the country. The matador system has served the Srinagar city and major towns of Kashmir valley well in past but Srinagar city and major towns of Kashmir valley in view of the rising traffic management needs caused by rapid urbanization during last twenty years needs a better and more eco-friendly mode of transport. So the traffic need assessment and strict adherence of the traffic rules are the two major challenges for the traffic regulation authorities. The challenges are not unachievable but deserve immediate attention of the traffic regulation authorities. It is for the traffic regulation authorities to invoke measures for smoothening the traffic management system in Srinagar city and major towns of Kashmir valley.

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